Nephite Insights into Israelite Worship Practices before the Babylonian Captivity


Nephite Insights into Israelite Worship Practices before the Babylonian Captivity

TitleNephite Insights into Israelite Worship Practices before the Babylonian Captivity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsThompson, A. Keith
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
Volume3
Pagination155-195
KeywordsNephite; Old World; Worship
Abstract

General historical consensus holds that synagogues originated before the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70, and therefore probably originated during the Babylonian captivity. The suggestion in Philo and Josephus that synagogues may have originated during the exodus was discredited by some historians in the 17th century, yet the Book of Mormon speaks of synagogues, sanctuaries, and places of worship in a manner which suggests that Lehi and his party brought some form of synagogal worship with them when they left Jerusalem around 600 BC. This essay revisits the most up to date scholarship regarding the origin of the synagogue and suggests that the Book of Mormon record provides ample reason to look for the origins of the synagogue much earlier that has become the academic custom.